If you don't know much about PCs and are completely new to the Internet, AOL and CompuServe are worth considering. They are both easy to use but can prove expensive for heavy users.
For businesses or users with a little more experience, try UUNet Pipex, an established, reliable ISP which now covers 90 per cent of the UK.
BTNet still only has five points of presence but it covers the whole of the UK with its BT Internet dialup service. You just dial 0345, which is charged everywhere at a local rate.
CompuServe www.compuserve.com, 0800 289378
AOL www.aol.com, 0800 376 5432
UUNet Pipex www.pipex.com, 01223 250120
BT www.bt.net, 01442 295828
Internet service provider check points
1 Make sure your chosen access provider can give you access with a local telephone call.
2 Check what software your ISP provides, whether it is registered and whether it works with your machine.
3 Check out technical support. If possible, call the technical support line before you sign up for an account.
4 What do you need Internet access for? If you want extra services, check your ISP can offer them first. how do I find Web sites? The Internet already contains billions of words on hundreds of thousands of subjects, so it can be difficult to find what you are interested in.
Enter the search engine. The big four are AltaVista, www.altavista.com; Yahoo, www.yahoo.com; Lycos, www.lycos.com; and Infoseek, www.infoseek.com.
For a complete list of search engines on one central site, try www.search.com.
The big search engines often turn up thousands of documents, mainly with a US bias. For UK searches try the excellent Yell Web Directory at www.yell.co.uk, www.uksearch.co.uk, or Yahoo's UK site at www.yahoo.co.uk.
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